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Boehner 10, Mcconnell 8, Joe Biden 6, Mitch Mcconnell 4, Reid 3, John Boehner 3, Afghanistan 3, China 3, Washington 3, Russia 3, U.s. 2, Harry Reid 2, Peggy Noonan 2, Bob Woodward 2, Barack Obama 2, Fcc 2, United Nations 2, Syrians 2, Obama 2, Bashar Al-assad 2,
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  CSPAN    News Politics and Public Affairs    News/Business.  

    January 7, 2013
    2:25 - 5:55am EST  

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devices the tech center is coming up with all the time. >> neutrality could be an issue in the next year. the challenge to the fcc's rules. it is unclear exactly how the court will rule. there are implications on similar issues in the past they are skeptical. >> a look at the major technology and telecommunications issues in 2013. monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. >> student can video entries with your message to the president are now due. get them by the deadline, friday, january 18. >> now, a discussion about the agenda for the 113th congress and the political environment
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this year. this is just under an hour. host: in our sunday roundtable two veterans of capitol. john freehery, longtime republican strategist and staffer to dennis hastert and jim manley, who worked for senators kennedy and reid. let's begin with the words of bob woodward it avoid the crisis next time try dell getting the job. players used their staff as messagers and backen but never empowered them to solve the problem. could the staffers have done better? guest: as a former staffer you always think that you know all the solutions but it is the members of congress and senators that have to face
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election. it is a lot easier to get in a back room without worrying about constituents and solve these problems. i know a lot of staffers would be mortified with what bob woodward had to say. guest: it didn't and it didn't work in the debt limit debacle. i have a lot of respect for bob woodward. i'm not not quite sure i understood what that was getting at. staffers can only go so far and it is up to members to legislate. anyway, interesting piece but i'm not sure i buy the premise. host: how do you fix the problem because there seemed to be a problem coming to an agreement. was it the negotiation, the make-up of the republican congress? or the issues? guest: i think that the real problem is we have a republican party especially in the house that is dominated by extremists
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who think that going over the so-called fiscal cliff is just another day in the park and who have apparently no problem with pushing this country over the edge when it comes to the debt limit debate. that is a whole other story. but i think we need to stop the polarization of congress and get more bipartisanship. in the end the staffers can only get so far. but because as john said it is the members themselves who get elected. host: another piece from peggy noonan from the "new york post" drama obama, after the past week it seems obama doesn't really want to work well with the other side. bipartisanwant big victories. he wants his opponents in disarray fighting without and within and incapable. he wants them to be confused. guest: the fascinating thing about what happened in this
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latest compromise is how the president delegated joe biden to cut the adams. -- cut deals. president obama is a terrible negotiator. it is his way or the highway. he doesn't want to give anything. to jim's point about extremism the biggest problem the country faces is spending, not taxes. people pay tax. we need to deal with spending. the president has been irresponsible in dealing with the spending problem. he walked away from the bowles- simpson commission and hasn't put forward any ideas on how to handle entitles. host: you have been dealing with these last minute issues last year when the president and speaker boehner appeared close to an agreement that failed and for the first time in 60 years the senate was in session on new year's day and house of representatives and by the way they collectively have only been in session four times since world war ii between christmas and new year's.
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this is from c.q. weekly said these are here to say. this cliff side drama. are we seeing more of this? guest: unfortunately we are. but let me go back one second regarding the peggy noonan piece. i read it with great interest and had a good laugh at it. to be perfectly clear there's not one word in that column i agree with. i don't agree with the punctuation. i don't think the way she structured the debate and i certainly don't agree with her conclusions. leaving that aside, yes, unfortunately this will be the new norm. in this day and age nothing happens until it has to happen because of the hyper partisanship and polarization in congress. while we are all glad we dealt on new year's day with this other issue you know we have three other issues coming up by
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the end of march. host: this is from those who wrote broken congress it is worse than it looks. they have five myths about the 112th congress. a lot of myths with the 80th congress which passed 906 laws including the marshall plan which they say was clearly one of the most consequential initiatives of the 20th century and created the defense department and national security council and in contrast the 112th congress enacted the smallest number of laws in modern history, fewer than 250 including 40 that were trivial such as post office naming and commemorative resolution. guest: it was not very productive. the problem is we have laws that are stupid and need to get rid of some of them and biggest problem is a huge spending problem.
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i would say that i worked in the 104th congress when the government was shut down between christmas and new year's. that was even worse than today. you have a deeply divided country and strong passes on both sides and you have to reach resolution. and you have a lot of folks on both sides that don't have that much experience negotiating especially president obama and sometimes you have to go to the edge to get something done. in the is one of those times. host: they are giving the speaker the worst week in washington. second time he earned that title. john boehner getting rehired to an impossible job. guest: first of all, let me be clear i think he does deserve the worse week in washington. he simply is caught between a rock and a hard place. but you and your readers -- you understand -- i spent 12 years working for senator kennedy at a time when he was back on top
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of his legislative game and a very fertile time when he was passing a lot of legislation. much of it done with congressman speaker boehner. i saw a man who was willing to compromise, knew how to compromise and accepted that that was part of the deal. so with senator kennedy he negotiated no child left behind. pension reform, higher education act. i know the guy knows how to deal but in this day and age he is caught between a rock and a hard place. host: why? guest: you are right, he has a tough job. i think he is happy to have the job. we have been through a lot in this country. we had the fiscal crisis. we have two wars, one very unpopular. we have a loss of faith in government out in the country especially within the
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republican base. the republican party itself has again through a lot of strain with the rise of the tea party. so, boehner has a very difficult task ahead. we had an election where we didn't win, we lost eight seats in the house, our presidential candidate lost fairly convincingly. for republicans is not a fun time. that said boehner is the guy for the job. the fact that he had so many people defect was not a reflection on him it was the bozos who vote the against him. the republican party if it is going to be successful must remain united. if divided the democrats will have a field day. i think that john boehner is the best chance they have to reunite the party. host: we will get your calls and comments in a minute. the numbers are on the bottom of the screen and join us on facebook and twitter. this is one issue the tax reform more likely of the fiscal cliff agreement, some changes in
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the agreement over the fiscal gift gives policy makers on both sides a firm are starting place for tax reform discussion. guest: i hope bernie is correct. we will have to wait to see. just a cursory look back to the process that led us to this, you know, on this or any other issue, i'm not exactly optimistic that we can get anything done. but i will concede there is a ned for tax reform. everyone understands it but the devil is in the details. but some issues have been laid out. many of the issues have been debated publicly and privately in years past back to last year to the debt limit debate. so there is no secret what we are dealing with. the numbers are well known. the question is whether there is a political willingness. host: harry reed had this to say changing the filibuster rule. [video clip]
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>> including the fiscal cliff. plaid dam chair, i believe this -- madam chair, i believe this matter warrants additional debate in the 113th congress away just started. senators have notice before changing rules. so i will follow the precedent set in 2005 and 2011 to reserve the right to propose changes and not acquiesce in the carrying over of all rules from last congress. it is my intention the senate will recess today rather than adjourn to continue the same legislation and allow the rules discussion to continue. i'm confident that the republican leader and i can come to an agreement to allow the senate to work more efficiently. host: i want to get into the politics of there but step back with nonpartisan rule of what the rule states and why some are calling for changes.
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guest: sure. as quickly as possible under the rules of the senate any one senator has the ability to extend debate for an awfully long time, up to two hours -- up to two weeks. you can debate the motion to proceed. you have to debate the bill itself and you have to have cloture to finish and there are motions that allow the bill to go into conference. a determined minority can use the rules to take two or three weeks to finish all but the most routine piece of legislation without necessarily speaking on the floor. so, there are different ideas within the democratic caucus on how to deal with them. they range from the more junior of members of the senate who maybe haven't been there as long to among or things actually requiring senators to stay on the floor to debate the issue. and other slightly more controversial provisions.
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others within the democratic caucus want to at least try to deal or to eliminate the so- called motion to proceed to the legislation which again can take up it three days which would at least allow the senate to get on a bill and debate it. in between there's a whole bunch of members who have some real concerns about despite the fact that we are in the majority right now that is not always going to be the case. so some are taking a long view and are very concerned that any effort to tamper with the filibuster could have consequences later on down the road. for instance, if i was a pro- choice woman, senator, i would be concerned in late of what the current make-up of the supreme court is by doing anything to eliminate the filibuster. but others have different views. there is no denying that while he is committed to it, dealing
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with it in some form or fashion, that is what these conversations with mcconnell are about, he also understands when he takes a long view he has to be careful. guest: i think the democrats and republicans agree on the frustration with the other chamber. you talk to members in either party and they point to the senate thinking it is dysfunctional. guest: when i got to the congress in 1989 one of the first things somebody said the senate is a real problem. i think that has gotten worst. i think you can have debate here as to whether it is the minority or majority causing it. my personal view is the leadership of the senate right now has failed to produce a budget the last three years and failed to have an open process on the budget has been a problem. i think that jim is right about how senator reid has to view this, a view that is a long view. republicans have muffed the last it elections but that doesn't mean they will muff the next
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one. if they get control of the chamber, which is a possibility, the changes that senator reid will be making if he makes them will apply to mitch mcconnell and if the majority leader wants to make it easier for the next majority leader to get stuff done, he needs to be careful on procedural things. host: your both a veteran of the u.s. senate with a number of former senators. we go to the democrats line from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. my question and comment was concerning the fact that our tax rates should probably be based on the particular expenditures. the bush war, or the different
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interventions that occurred where we went abroad and went to iraq and to afghanistan were not matched with comparable tax increases. so, consequently, what happened was the budget and deficit got affected by those expenses related to the war. it would seem to me you need to increase these tax rates to make up for the cost of the war. host: thanks for the call. guest: well, when i worked for speaker hastert at the time of the iraq war, the calculation
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that the bush administration made was that the last thing we needed to have with kind of the jolt with 9/11 was higher taxes to stifle economic growth. i think that is why they kept tax rates low. it is interesting that people have been talking about higher taxes, and democrats back then condemned the bush tax cuts. now the democrats have moved to make 98% of the bush tax cuts permanent so maybe it was not such a bad policy. host: from our twitter page a viewer who is worried about me. help steve out and let him know the fiscal cliff is not over. they did not stop the fiscal cliff. guest: sad but true. very astute observation from your reader. it will help you to generate news and get good guests on the next couple of weeks -- or next couple of months -- because we
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have a couple of key dates coming up in the next couple of months. we have the beginning of the sequester and debt limit debate and six month c.r. we are currently operating under runs out so it will be a march madness, if you will, of tax and spending debates. guest: she was right. the most interesting debate will be what will happen with the debt limit. there's been a lot of talk about republics holding the didn't limit hostage. -- debt limit hostage. i look at it slightly differently. i think the problem jim and i have both been involved in trying to get people to vote to extend the debt limit is extremely unpopular on both sides. i saw ads against the republicans for their vote on it and against democrats. the fact is that to get the votes you have to make it a sweeter deal and for a lot of
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republicans to make it a sweeter deal you have to include a lot of real spending cuts and i think that republicans are angry at the president but they are angrier at their own political leaders for the lack spending cuts in the last fiscal deal compromise. i think that for the next one they are going to have to get significant spending cuts or they won't get any republican votes. host: how do you respond to this comment without filibuster reform our nation will continue to be held hostage by mcconnell's political panned aring? guest: there is a significant part of me that agrees with those comments. i spent 21 years in the senate, saw a lot and saw a change over the years. i honestly believe that we are at a point in time where the minority party, the republican party, senator mcconnell, has abused the rules to the extent to which i rarely have ever
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seen, 60 votes is the norm. it is how you define them in the constitution is not there. the requirement for 60 votes is not there. i don't have numbers in front of me exactly but you can find exponential exponential growth in the rise of the filibuster. it is a common tactic used in the senate and something has it change. i don't envy those who are thinking about the changes for the reasons we have discussed but i do believe that something has to give. host: we have reached the death limit although the treasury department is working on measures to depth the debate. you can see from debt clock.org the u.s. debt is over $16.4 trillion. call on the republican line from maryland. caller: good morning. i would like the panel to
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comment on house delegations. it appears that other states have house delegations made up of white republicans and black democrats. would the panel comment on how that developed and what do they see for the future for that? host: thanks for the call. guest: it is a product of redistricting and the voting rights act that guaranteed that there would be a seven amount of minority districts. i think it has played in both parties' hands to a certain extent. the republicans like the idea of getting more districts in the south now is almost completely dominated by republicans. and except as a voter -- as the caller pointed out there are some minority districts and they are almost all exclusively occupied by african-americans. what sends up happening is the
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former white southern democrat is in and out a dinosaur, something of the past. we do have actually a political polarization in the south. host: to headlines. republican chaos on capitol hill. not really. "new york times" republicans beginning soul searching after the tax vote pointing out for mitt romney's loss through the tax fight that shattered party discipline in the house of representatives republicans have seen the foundation of their political strategy called into question. guest: republicans have to do some soul searching. first why did they lose the election. a lot were shocked how easily barack obama won. host: you thought romney was going to win? guest: i did. i was wrong. i was not only wrong i was darn wrong. we were wrong by quite a bit. i think that from a republican standpoint they have to
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understood this is a game of multiplication and addition, not subtraction and division. the more we -- we have to reinvent ourselves so we are doing a better job appealing to wider ethic groups and we also our message has to be better. we have to take our message to more people. we kept the house representatives but didn't win the overall vote for congressional districts. we have a definite situation that we have to understand. i think that party leaders get that. i think that john boehner gets it and mitch mcconnell gets it and the chairman of the r.n.c. going through a full review of what happened and how to do better. it's not just a tactical problem. host: one says get rid of the republicans in name only. you get rid of them and you
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have a party of about 50%. i have been called a rino. >> i have been called worst. in is a numbers problem. politics is a game of numbers. if you don't have a majority you can't run anything. a lot of people think that we would be better as a minority. that away don't have to govern. that is not sustainable. we leave the playing field to the democrats and barack obama. host: darren is on the phone from baltimore. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for having me. wonderful. i'm very thrilled. i have been watching c-span since i was in high school and i appreciate the show. i have seen john on other programs. you do a pretty good job. host: i bet you haven't seen him with a green tie. i know there's a game in baltimore today.
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i think there's a football game in washington, d.c. caller: we are very excited about the game. host: let me explain the green tie. guest: notre dame is playing in alabama and that is the only game that matters to me. that is why i'm wearing and i'm going to the game. caller: ravens have a game, too. a lot of story lines in football this year. i was calling because, you know, we have been continued of having the same fights since i was young. we have all known about the three problems that we have -- not problems -- the biggest amounts of spending. defense, medicaid, medicare and social security, which doesn't add to our deficit. social security is taken out. i don't mind paying taxes. but the republicans and democrats, they really have to just sit down and deal with it. none of them want to deal with
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their particular constituency. republicans, you know, most of them are aligned to defense. we have to cut our defense. we spend more money than all the top 10 countries behind us combined. there's got to be a better way to do it. host: thanks for the call. guest: well, i think there's got to be some savings in defense and in entitlement programs. it is becoming a burden that is crowding out other spends and the growth cap is a shoot through the roof. we have to look at entitlement programs and look at social security in the long term. right now it has a slight surplus but that is des continued to become a problem for us. we made a lot of promises the
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last 50 years and a lot of them are becoming due and we have to rethink the size and scope of the federal government and our commitment to it. spend being right now is 24% to 25% to g.d.p. and it should be closer to 20%. taxes are going to go up and we have to have more revenue coming in. now it is about 14%. you get the bulk of it through economic growth. whatever tax reform and policies we do we have to make sure it creates jobs because the more people that have jobs the more economic growth you have the more tax revenue you have. host: the president seemed to indicate, jim, he is not done trying to get more taxes from wealthier americans. guest: i think that is probably right though to be honest i have to concede in late of the deal that was made a couple of days ago it will be more difficult in light of the fact -- host: difficult for republicans? guest: no, for the president to get much more since the deal last week was focused so much on taxes.
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i'm not sure how much more he can go in the well per se. but, yes, with all due respect to john, i don't think that cutting spending is the way tag. we have need cuts. defense is the first thing that comes to mind but i think we need to broaden the tax code, bring in more taxes from the wealthy and look at that side. host: i want to follow up on issues friday on msnbc's morning joe the relationship between the democratic leader in the senate your former boss harry reid and the president. she said she doubts harry reid has ever been to camp david with president obama.
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guest: i can assure you with 100% accuracy he has never been to camp david with the president. nor do i necessarily think he wants to go to camp david. but putting that aside, they have a very good relationship. they work very closely together. any disagreements that they have are usually kept behind closed doors. if what you are trying to get at is should the president be more engaging and invite members down especially republicans, down to the white house or camp david, it sounds nice and for the so-called goo-goos you may get a nice mention in the editorial page of the "washington post" but the reality is your facing a group of republicans led by mitch mcconnell who said his number one goal is to make sure that the president is a one-term president.
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obviously he lost that one. but again, what i saw starting after the president's election in 2008 was a determined republican party prepared to do everything three could to take down this president. so i'm always in favor of open lines of communication and i would hope that the president would do a slightly better job in outreach. but the fact of the matter is when you are dealing with republicans at least it is only going to get you so far. host: another relationship question for you on the republican side of the aisle, relationship 2010 the speaker of the -- between the speaker of the house and republican leader. guest: i think mcconnell and boehner have a close working relationship and good personal relationship. are you talking about mcconnell or reid? host: speaker boehner and mcconnell. guest: i think on the fiscal cliff they had a difference of strategy. mcconnell wanted a tax first and spending limit.
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and boehner wanted to have a grand deal, a grand bargain they called it. but those guys, those staffs work very well together. they have known each other a long time and you have two old pros. this is not mcconnell's first rodeo and boehner has been in the house a long time and knows how to cut deals. host: a lot of attention on the ceremonial swearing ins that took place between boehner and joe biden. it is on our website and been rebroadcast and getting a lot of attention on youtube. i will leave it there. it was said it was a day for the old political stiff and if boehner was the nicotine stain ed prince of darkness joe biden was the white knight in the senate fresh from his deal
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making triumph with mitch mcconnell over the swearing in and lived up to his reputation as bringing sexy back to the medicare eligibility set. guest: he is almost like a court jester always good for a couple of laughs. he is the gaffes never stop with joe biden. that said i think he is the only guy in the white house that can get a deal done. this president is probably the least engaged president in my lifetime. you hear this from democrats in the senate more than you hear it from republicans. republicans expect to get talked to by the president but democrats never hear from him so joe biden plays an essential role. host: we have a call from evansville, indiana. democrat line. caller: you don't realize how ridiculous that sounds to senior citizens. the congress had all of that time to do that and yet joe
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biden steps in and it was done. that sounds ridiculous. but that is not the point i was going to make. what i called about is i wonder how -- i definitely think that the general people like me, seniors that live under $30,000 a year, we talk a lot at the senior center about these things and we don't think you are in touch with us at all. we would rather pay a little more taxes than have you cut our social security or medicare. our social security we feel like we paid it. f.d.r. used our money to help develop the atomic bomb and interstate highway system under eisenhower and finance wars. i checked the website. there isn't one president who hasn't used social security money for something. i don't know if you guys realize it. we will pay our fair share. we want the wealthy to agree to pay their fair share.
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that is all we ask. we don't ask for their wealth. let's live by the golden rule. that is all. host: thanks for the call. next to kenny from piedmont, south carolina, republican line. this is our sunday roundtable. caller: yes. my question is why is the comment by fiscal responsibility only come out when the democrats are in power? the republicans were in power and never said a word about fiscal responsibility. it was spend, spend us into debt. now these guys are in place. host: we will get a response. guest: first talk about the first call. i don't think anyone is talking about slashing social security benefits for current seniors or retirees. or medicare benefits. i think that over time you have a duty to reform the programs so that less of the burden is falling on the federal government which is going bankrupt and more is put on
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perhaps burden sharing with wealthier citizens. i think that makes a lot of sense. i hear your point and this is why the tea party republicans are so irritated with the so- called establishment republicans.
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at 10 o'clock, eric schmidt analyzes the impact of technology and the role of the internet on society. that is tonight the getting at 8:00 pm on c-span. >> cybersecurity is a priority because of its implications.
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congress fails to reach an agreement on cyber security legislation. they are far apart. >> another big issue will be implementing the incentive option to create or spectrums. the fcc is in the midst of working on that. some of the issues are a licensed spectrum that powers wi-fi and other devices. >> net atrocity could be a big issue. the dc circuit is considering verizon's challenge to fcc's rules. it is unclear how the court will rule. it has been skeptical of the fcc's authority. >> tonight, on the communicators
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at 8:00 eastern. >> student is trees -- entries with your message to the president are due. the deadline is friday, january 18 for your grand prize of $5,000. for details, go to student cam.org. >> in a rare address to the nation, the syrian president bashar al-assad. he proposed a new constitution that he said would include new laws for the parties and local administration. he think russia and china for their support of syria and stressed that his country would defend themselves from outside forces. the last time he addressed the nation was in june 2012. coverage comes to us courtesy of al-jazeera english.
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>> this is the first time since november that the president has given a public address in his own country. official figures in united nations said as many as 60,000 people have lost their lives during the course of the 21 month conflict. [chanting] our translator is standing by. [applause] [applause] president bashar al-assad, live from the syrian capital. >> ladies and gentlemen, today i look at your faces and the faces of the people of my country with sadness and pain.
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i look at the eyes of the children of syria. i'd look at the hands of the elderly today, pain and suffering is spread all over syria. safety and security are absent in these streets. many women lost their children, many children became orphans.
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siblings have been divided. this pain is spread over the country. from the pain, hope is born. from difficulty, solutions come.
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a dark cloud would hide the sun, but it would provide rain and cleanliness that would provide goodness for the country. syria will not come out of its impulse unless it changes this into a solution that will bring the country out of its impulse but it has never witnessed in the history of this region. this is the only way we can remedy all the injuries and deep wounds that we have in syria and the only way to keep syria more viable and bring it back socially, morally, and economically.
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everyone is responsible, however simple in his view. the country is ours. we defend it collectively. the situation is defense, and the preservation of people's property is defense. to preserve the country as a whole, every person knows exactly what is going on, and negative-ness of others will not sort out the problem. it will not help the country to come out of its difficulty. many have fell into the trap that the conflict is between
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holding the power and authority, and therefore they stayed back and kept silent. therefore it is our duty, so that people can use the compass in the right direction. the difference between a man who fights for his bread and warmth and the safety that everyone wanted to have. they killed the people in order to kill the light in our country. they killed the intellect in
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order to inflict ignorance on this. deprived children from the school in order to bring the country backward. the affected electricity so that they make the elderly and children suffer the coldness of winter. it is also their brutality, stealing the wheat and sources of food in order to make people hungry. is it a conflict against the authority to take the power of the country? is it to kill the people and fragments syria? these are the enemies of the people.
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the enemies of the people are the enemies of god. the enemies of god will be in hell on the day of judgment. they came with their false claims, and they were supported by media and money. when they failed, they moved a second stage. they claimed peaceful means and they showed that they were armed and resorted to arms. they began to affect countries. towns attacked the brutally. the more they attacked, the more the people stood fastly to show the falsehood. eventually they resulted to terrorism, to terrorize people.
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the college revolution. it has nothing to do with any revolutions -- they call it revolution. it has nothing to do with revolutions. who is providing thinking and thoughts for this revolution? revolutions are based on scientific notions. they are to push countries forward, not bring them backward. it is a revolution of people who live in the country, not people who come in, imported from outside. these are a bunch of criminals. but those who use religion in order to kill collectively and supporting gangsters, every time
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the army stands hand in hand with the people, they come closer to their demise. however, they began to kill in the front lines. they used blood shed. the ideology of religious difference is new to us, and is something strange to us. we have terrorists that have the ideology of al-qaeda, describe themselves as jihadists, they lead terrorist organizations in the ground. the use of back lines in order
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to lead thieving and looting to help those religious groups who know nothing but the language of killing and bloodshed. we, brothers, fight against these people. many of them are not syrians. they came for sinister ideologies and falls ideologies that they call jihad, which is far from jihad and islam. the people we are facing are those ideologues of al qaeda. three decades ago, we know how they were sponsored by the west and by arab money. after the demise of the soviet union, they went from afghanistan.
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they went into the west. they tried to get rid of them in afghanistan and in iraq. because this terrorism has infiltrated through western societies themselves, this event has come to the arab world, especially in syria, because now the opportunity is available for them so that the number of terrorists can be increased in syria, and therefore they can get rid of two adversaries. one is the terrorist. the second is syria. it causes concern to the west.
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another organization issued a report a month ago to retreat from terrorist activities. this happened in east asia. they come now to syria, and some of them come from western countries. wherever they come from, it is dangerous. it is not impossible to defeat them when we have the courage and will to deal with them. however, the infiltration is very dangerous. this is what we need if they come and infiltrate our society. they will mutate our society regardless of what difficulties and differences politically syria has an otherwise would
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fall into the trap handed down to our children. ideology that syria, that we know -- this would also destroy our geographical being. they will destroy any society they infiltrate. it is a huge responsibility. we need to be united to stand against. however, the crisis has got other dimensions. not domestically alone. anyone who wanted to see in the region, there are those who are
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trying to weaken or demise syria, by money, arms, and others by support and training. countries that our enemies that have built themselves on occupation. others that are trying to find a place in history that they never had. they wrote the history with the blood of arab people, and in particular syria. the syrian people are stronger than them, and will teach them a lesson. [applause] internationally, it is no secret that syria was and is still a sovereign place, that does not accept trusteeship from anybody.
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this is what alarmed the west and still does. they used internal events in order to take syria out of the political equation, so that they get rid of this phobia that they have. our position is the same as others. international society is not only limited to the west, however, there are others like russia and china who refuse interference in the sovereignty of other countries. this is based on their principles of helping other
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people to self-determination. we would like to thank all these countries. china, russia, and iran. we are very grateful to them. [applause] in the light of all this long introduction, we cannot speak about solutions, except if we take into consideration all these factors internally, regionally, and internationally. any process will not change the solutions.
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if the dispute was between a position and loyals, if it is to do with loyalty and opposition, this would be on the basis of construct the country, not destroy it. it is about progression, not going backward. the difference between opposition and loyalty is internal, but when it becomes from inside being directed and used by outsiders, it turns it into an conflict. this would be occupation, political occupation from outside into the country. that would turn the country into defending again from outside influence.
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outside, we do not mean where these people live. the place where they put their heart, mind, loyalty. regardless where they reside. some people live abroad, but they defend their country. it is not their opposition or being loyal or fighting. we are any situation. we're fighting against an external, a vicious war which is so dangerous. it is much more dangerous and harmful than any traditional war. we are used in order to implement their plots. they're trying to use us in
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order to destroy our generations, unfortunately, by the help of some of us. therefore, we have to defend our country. this is not going to change anything in the war. however, it would strengthen and unite us in order to face this challenge. some think that reform would sort out the problem. it is only a contributory factor. reform is important to help hopes, because hopes without reforms would not help.
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if syria is one to resort to security, they do not understand. reform with one hand, destroy terrorism with the other hand. therefore, when someone is subjected to attack and defended himself, the person who defended himself or used security means when people defend the country and the country defend itself, they say they chose the security option. defending the country is -- duty is legal, and it is a legitimate option. if we decided to defend ourselves and use the security option, it does not mean we're defendant ourselves. sorry, i repeat.
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it does not mean we do not defend ourselves. if we took the political option, that means we need a partner that is able to enter into dialogue on the national side. if we did not in the past take any partner, and that was our choice. if some wanted to get married and could not find the right partner, or did not find any person that would accept him, that does not mean that this person does not want to get married. however, it means that he could not find the right partner.
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a book about security solution, but no one in the country said that we only opted for the security option. we did not refuse any political solutions. we adopted this from day one, through dialogue. we have encouraged anyone with political projects, but with whom can we debate with extremists who do not understand except the language of terrorism and bloodshed? outsiders, do we listen to them when they know that that dialogue is going to frustrate, especially people from the region that know that by syria coming out from its impulse, it would affect adversely, and use their finance in order to sponsor terrorism.
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that shows their implications. implication in bloodshed. or use the foreign powers. in the debate with those who are genuine people, who are not talking to us with pre-written in the script from outside. [applause] but they use the policy of division and seditions.
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we are sovereign. we talked our language. we have been brought up in dignity. why would we listen to them and listen to their debates? accordingly, those who talk about only political solution would ignore totally these factors. either they are ignorant of the actual facts, or they are using the language that helps criminals endorse and those who are behind them to sell their people.
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dealing with us in this manner, we do not accept that. we have to deal with everything. political, terrorism, and an important factor, which is the social solution. the situation has become better because of the social solution, because people who are patriotic and who came with initiatives and have made negotiations and mediated between farmers and locals, and it has given good results on the ground. these people do not have any program other than being patriotic.
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if we look at the solution comprehensively and we look at the access politically, socially, and security wise, we still have to go back to our special basis. the social roots, and i would like to give to those people who have made achievements -- and others i have met directly. others i have heard of. i would like to thank them very much on their initiatives. [applause] from what i said, that there is nobody to speak to, that is not true. we are always respecting our hand for dialogue.
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we would have a dollar with anyone who differs with us politically and anyone who has any stance, as long as the stance is based on principles and patriotism. we will speak with anyone who does not sell this country to foreigners so that we get the arab-syrian blood back to the people. and those who were in interest of syrian independence and interest based on our principles that looks after the stability of syria and the united nations, which respects the sovereignty of people and their countries, and not interferes in their internal affairs and believe in the dialogue between syrian people, and to get stability back to syria, the political solutions will be as follows. the first stage, the relevant
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countries to stop arming and financing people who are armed to conduct these terrorist organizations, terrorist actions inside the country, so that they can live in their places of residence safely. also, military actions from armed forces to reserve their right to defend any private or public property. secondly, we find a mechanism in order to find a solution and also the borders. thirdly, the government will begin to have extensive contacts with all this spectrum of society, syrian society, in order to have a whole dialogue,
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the congress to have a dialogue with syrian people to sort the problem. second stage. firstly, the government would like to have a conference to have dialogue, a comprehensive dialogue in order to have a charter to protect the integrity of the country and condemn terrorism and preserve the integrity of the country. the country will come in order to specify the criteria for the second stage. a national charter to preserve
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the unity of the country and condemn terrorism. this charter is what is going to preserve syria in the future and its politics, economics. secondly, we will have a referendum. thirdly, we have an expanded government which carries out the national charter. fourthly, we put to the people, and the conference of dialogue to agree a dialogue for elections. anything to do with constitution and the law, we can say if in the conference dialogue the government can carry out whatever is agreed on. the third stage. firstly, a new government to be set up in accordance with the constitution.
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and also, we have a general congress to have reconciliation and give amnesty to everyone in prison. thirdly, to reestablish the infrastructure and compensate people who have suffered damages. also, talking about amnesty, the country can forfeit its rights. however, we cannot give amnesty on behalf of people because it is the civil right to. amnesty would be general, and only by this amnesty we can get into national reconsolation, when everyone forgives everyone else.
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these are the main features of the political solution, as we see it. these are only just the headlines that need details, which the government will begin to put details and expand on these points and put this vision in the form of an initiative. this would be followed up in accordance with the way it is laid down. we need to put every topic in its context. we live in times of falsehood and manipulation. this is something we do not do. it is done by them.
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we need to put these things in the right context and put the right definitions. some, when they see this vision, they think there is a return backwards from the security point of view. i would like to reassure everybody, as far as fighting terrorism, we will not stop fighting terrorism as long as we have even one single terrorist in syria. this does not mean we're going to lessen the fight on terrorism. [applause]
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[chanting] secondly, this vision, you could call it initiative vision. these ideas are aimed at everyone who wanted dialogue and everyone who wanted a solution. it is not for those who do not want or do not try. we try from today, we may find, for example, a lot of rejection from people who want to ask, why
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do you reject something that is not aimed at you in the first place? [applause] thirdly, any initiative that is proposed by anybody person or of the state, it have to be based on the syrian vision, not to replace what we as syrians see as a solution. any initiative has to be an initiative to assist what the syrians are going to do, not replace it. this is an initiative from the government. any initiative from outside it has to be coming in order to
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help and assist, not replace. we need not waste time on any replacements. if we ask, how can outside initiatives help us, there are two avenues. one, politically. two, counter-terrorism. we are capable of being without politics. anyone who wanted to effectively and practically help us, they can concentrate on stopping armed people coming into syria. these are the parameters they can work within. a country that is thousands of years old cannot be dictated to politically. [applause]
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fourth point, that we support any assisting initiatives coming from outside. we cannot accept any interpretation or construction of it unless it is to help syria, and therefore we can talk about the syrian initiative, which is the transitional period. when we talk about transitional period, we would want to move from where to where? do we move from a free country to an occupied country, from a situation of where there is a state to a situation of chaos? it has to be a national decision.
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the other situation, if there is no crisis, the situation of transition is always from one place into something better. any situation to do with any transitional process, what we're doing now -- i am sorry, i can say, these ideas to represent this moment of the transitional period. fifthly, an initiative we except would be because it is based on the assumption of sovereignty. and the initiative concentrate on this, and therefore, anything
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agreed inside or outside syria has to be decided by the people. even the national charter that can be done by the dialogue conference, it has to be done by people, referendum, and anything comes from outside or inside an idea, it has to be gone through referendum by the people. not the government, not the president, and no one else. obviously we show a kind of guarantee that these steps do represent people's conciliation and national reconciliation. this is simple talk, and is very clear. anyone who comes to syria and
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leaves syria should know that. syria accepts assistance, but does not accept oppression. anything you heard in the past or you hear from ideas, concepts, declarations from the media, officials, if there are things to do, to talk about, then be so just by soap bubbles. [applause] any interpretation of any topic that is outside syrian sovereignty is just no more than dreams. they can live in these dreams, but not to make us live in this. we can only live in reality.
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anything would have to come from the syrian reality and interests of the syrian people. [applause] [chanting] dear sisters, dear brothers, the country is above everybody. syria is over and above everybody. politically, it will be strengthened. we will defend its territory. the syrians are forgiven, but they will not give up their dignity. here are many people that came
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to fight against terrorism. some provided vital information that helped in order to frustrate planned terrorist actions against the people. those were fought against terrorists by defending their areas or even to demonstrate against the murderous, armed people, and those who died against this and those who fight side-by-side with armed forces in order to fight, to defend the different areas and towns, and the infrastructure. i would like to give one example in north syria. the brave men of this town, which is on the border of turkey, they stood for a number of days, defending against terrorist attacks. they managed to defend and
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defeat these terrorists that were coming from turkey. i pay tribute to them. [applause] some of them tried and were able to convince and forgive other people through national reconciliation, which has broken the road for these terrorists in order to cause divisions. they were able to bring harmony. if they are not outside us, we
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are not outside them. the country is not only belonging to those who live in it, but also those who defended it. those who defend it, and those who need it. those who have stood for the country when the country needed them, regardless of where they were. many people, regardless of what they did and despite the differences, they stood to give unreservedly for the country. others have defended the country and to stop the deceit that was attacking. they stopped the brotherhood, as was defined by the west, and they came with vicious hatred and ideology of division.
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it was only a spring for those who have plotted it and try to spread it. the blood of these martyrs is the epic that will defend this country and help defend our integrity and unity together. it will cleanse our country from the betrayal and deceit. it will keep our country and its humanity. this is a strong thing. when the country is victorious, it does not forget those who have exerted efforts for it. i salute those who deserve the best salute, which is the army. the syrian arab army. [applause] [chanting]
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i salute our officers. i salute our brave soldiers. [chanting] i salute the soldiers, warrant officers, and officers who have exerted their effort and have paid their blood for the country. i salute the armed forces who fought in the most vicious wars in order to preserve the safety and security. the armed forces that have stood fastly, and wrought an epic to keep the country and preserve
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the people with their honor and safety. every soldier who fought to defend the country, a victory to them and victory to all those who fought and died for the country. i salute every citizen who stood by the armed forces. ever won by his means, the names will be written -- everyone by his means, the names will be written with light and fire. they defended their countries and peoples. [applause]
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dear brothers and sisters, i know as you all know what the country is going through is painful. i feel like most of the people feel about losing loved ones and the martyrdoms. the fire of their hatred afflicted and affected all of us. i am included. i am one of the people. i will always be like this. i will go one day, but the country stays. [applause] the mothers who lost their children, their tears will be --
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mercy for their children, and hell for those who have stolen the smile of their children. we will have -- syria will be stronger than it was. we will not give up our rights. we will defend syria internally. those who think we will forget palestine, we will continue as we always did. we will support resistance as ideology. it is not about giving up. we will stand by the palestinian people for their just cause that
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lasted for decades. all the sacrifices paid by the syrian people, this is the country, and people will not be in any position other than by the side of the palestinians. syrians will help the second homeland, and we have our duty towards them. the same duty we would have towards any syrian. our salute to every palestinian who stood by the syrians and by syria, and those who stood by us in the difficult situation.
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[applause] dear sisters and brothers, despite all the plots against syria and whatever the close ones before the strangers did for us will not change as, because what syria has is very profound, well established. profound, well established. syria runs in our veins.

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